Emily Speed

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Speed creates sculptures combining the performed body and built structures. Her piece is built out of old shutters. It is derived from the mediaeval defensive design for the Star Fort, but is now capable of being worn as a hybrid form that references furniture, clothing, and architecture.


Emily Speed is an artist based in Liverpool. Working in performance, installation, sculpture, drawing and artists’ books, she explores the temporary and the transient through reference to architecture and the body. Examining buildings, both literally and metaphorically, as physical shelters and as containers for memory, her work explores how built space is bound with the history of its occupiers. Often creating precarious forms in her work, Speed is interested in how architecture represents an especially poignant example of transience; man’s attempt to create permanence and legacy through building. In 2012 Speed will create new work for Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, and is developing an external wall commission for the new Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. Recent exhibitions include: Make Shift, a solo exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2011); Paper Cooperative, Spacex, Exeter (2011); Dialogos, ASSAB One, Milan (2011); Roaming. Heterotopias, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland (2010); Showreel Projects #5, Milan; Hand, Voice & Vision: Artists’ Books from Women’s Studio Workshop, Grolier Club, New York (2010). Residences include: A Curriculum at A Foundation, Liverpool (2010) Salzamt Atelierhaus Linz, Austria (2009); and an Artist’s Book Residency at Women’s Studio Workshop, New York State (2007). Awards include: Feiweles Trust Bursary, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Project Funding: Juliet Gomperts Trust; John Kinross travel scholarship awarded by The Royal Scottish Academy to live and work in Florence, Italy.  Her work is included in Doppelganger, Images of the Human Being, Gestalten, 2011. Speed completed her MA in Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art in 2006 following a BA (Hons) Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art in 2001.